Judgments and “Righteous Indignation” – How can we have more compassion for ourselves and everyone else?
Do any of these judgments and “righteous indignation” sound familiar to you? ;)
“He must have been mentally ill.”
“I’m only going to hang out with ‘higher vibration’ people.”
We do this all day long. Judge ourselves and other people and tell ourselves stories. We do it every time uncomfortable feelings arise in us. Our judgments and “justified” righteous indignation are keeping us trapped in a world of hate and violence.
Judging others does not demonstrate in any way that we are “superior” to them. It demonstrates that we don’t get it yet and we have a lot to learn. Maybe it’s time for a new approach.
I woke up this morning up thinking of a cliche about yesterday’s article. If you missed it, I wrote yesterday about a woman who was triggered by something I did and lashed out at me in anger and pain. And I was thinking about how this might be written in a lot of articles we see on the internet.
People often call this kind of triggered behavior “difficult to love.” We might say something like “thank you for loving me when I was most difficult to love.” And I thought to myself, “you know, she’s not difficult to love. She’s easy to love. She’s just like me. A person in pain who is lashing out.” Nothing difficult to love about it. When my cat does it, I have no difficulty loving him anyway. In fact, sometimes it’s actually cute and endearing. I see the needs behind his “acting out.” His acting out gives me an opportunity to practice compassion and deeper listening.
The reason we find people “difficult to love” is that we don’t love ourselves. We still believe that attack and judgment means something, that our anger is justified. We still believe our stories. That’s what makes it difficult. If we saw that attack and judgment are meaningless, we could easily see through the noise and see a small child thinking he is powerless and having a tantrum. It’s not difficult to love. It’s easy to love. And in learning how to love the one acting out, we learn how to love ourselves.
I caught myself doing it a few days ago. A much older and married man who has asked me out many times suddenly appeared out of nowhere and asked me out again. It triggers uncomfortable feelings in me, like revulsion and anger. I could tell you that my feelings are because of who he is and what he is doing.
Why doesn’t he get it yet? I’m not interested. What a lecherous, disgusting person he is. He doesn’t even see me, has shown no interest in delving into the transformation that I practice every day, yet he thinks I’m going with a married man to foreign countries and that I’d actually be up for that? Ugh … horror!!!
But you see … he’s not even there. He only exists in my mind. In my own mind, where I have painted an ugly mirror of myself and where I am practicing self-hatred that is projected onto him. If I continue to pretend to myself that he is anything other than a figment of my twisted ego imagination, I am powerless. I can “give in” or avoid him, I can hate him and judge him, I can feel disgusted by him … and all I do with any of those options is proclaim that I am a pathetic and powerless version of myself. A victim of the world I see. All I do by choosing any of those options is perpetuate my story and continue to live in a world that is perilous and ugly.
It’s the same thing the woman who lashed out at me yesterday is doing. In her own mind, she has a bunch of stories going about how I wronged her and all the horrible consequences of it in her life. When the truth is, I didn’t do anything and there are no consequences. Except the ones she makes up in her own mind … And her escape from pain is the same as mine … She must change her mind about the world she sees.
So what do we do about all this? Well, most of us are way too fixated on doing. And by the way, let us not deceive ourselves. Avoidance and stonewalling are forms of “doing.” Nor would I ever recommend “giving in” to anyone. If ever there was a recipe for misery, it is believing our story and then compromising because we don’t think we can do any better.
Nope, the answer is simple. We must change our minds. We must see that our stories are baloney and every image we see is something we made up in our own mind. Reacting to it as if it is real only perpetuates the story and makes the trap tighter and harder to escape.
If we will simply step back, not with avoidance but with compassion … and see ourselves in the other person. If we will say to ourselves, over and over again, “Truth will correct all errors in my mind” … we will see the world begin to change.
What if we could allow people the room to self-correct? Our stories lock the image in our mind beyond any hope of change. When we detach from the story, we open up a space where truth can correct all errors in our minds.
As it says in A Course in Miracles, we have spent many years attempting to justify our judgments. And it has only made us miserable. Wouldn’t we be better off without them?
“Now you have reached the turning point, because it has occurred to you that you will gain if what you have decided is not so. Until this point is reached, you will believe your happiness depends on being right. But this much reason have you now attained; you would be better off if you were wrong.”
– A Course in Miracles
Erika Awakening, Teaching People How to Create Everyday Miracles at TAPsmarter
Erika Awakening is one of the world’s foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and living life on your own terms.